Mikazuki geri, the crescent kick, allows you to kick from close ranges, where kicks seems impossible because your legs are jammed up. Crescent kicks allow even the most inflexible people to execute head-level kicks, with some practice. Although we normally advise against throwing high kicks, the fact that we rarely use them gives them the element of surprise. Crescent kicks are to be used as an atemi. There are three different versions of crescent kicks in Goshin-Jutsu Karatedō, as discussed below.
Inside crescent kick
Throwing an inside crescent kick, like any other kick, is a four-point procedure. Slowly practice all four points, and as you become comfortable, slowly increase your speed. Remember, slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.
- Chambering. Enter a walking crane stance, raising your knee “past parallel.” Then, open your hip to the outside, like a side kicks, to form the lower half of the crescent.
- Kick. Extend your leg as you close your hip. This swings your foot up in an arc, for a same-side attack which impacts with the koshi.
- Re-chambering. Let your knee go limp, and fall into a fighting crane stance.
- Stepping out. After kicking, return to a bent-knees attention stance, and slide either leg into whatever stance you chose. Again, never directly step forward from crane stance into some other stance. You can -- and will -- be swept.
[Inside crescent kick videos, fast and slow, from the front and side.]
Inside crescent kicks have defensive applications, but these are usually reserved for intermediate or advanced students, since a high degree of skill and comfort with inside crescent kicks is needed before they can be used as a reliable defense.
Outside crescent kick
Throwing an outside crescent kick is a four-point procedure.
- Chambering. Enter a fighting crane stance, as per usual. Always raise the knee of the kicking leg as high as possible, so that your knee is “past parallel.” This forms the lower half of the crescent.
- Kick. Simultaneously extend your leg, open your hip to the outside, just like setting up a side kick. This will swing your foot up in an arc for an opposite-side attack, which contacts the opponent with your sokutō.
- Re-chambering. Let your knee go limp to enter a walking crane stance.
- Stepping out. After kicking, return to a bent-knees attention stance, and slide either leg into whatever stance you chose. Again, never step forward from crane stance into some other stance. You can -- and will -- be swept.
[Outside crescent kick videos, fast and slow, from the front and side.]
Spinning crescent kick
While Goshin-Jutsu Karatedō rarely uses spinning kicks, in the rare times that when we do, they are either spinning outside crescent kicks, hook kicks, or wheel kicks. Spinning kicks are intimidating, and they have more momentum (and power) than regular kicks. However, this move is intrinsically dangerous since it forces you to turn your back to your opponent, and it briefly places you in an awkward, twisted position. Additionally, it adds another step to the kicking process, slowing down the response time. This kick also requires an impeccable sense of balance to execute correctly; we practice this kick mainly to develop our sense of balance.
Directions on how to throw right spinning outside crescent kick is given below; changing directions for a left kick is an exercise left for the reader.
- Origin. Start in a left fighting stance facing #1.
- Spin. Twist clockwise 270° to #2, pulling your right leg up into a left cat-like stance, except that your legs are crossed, like you’re waiting in a line to use the toilet.
- Kick. Execute an outside crescent kick, minding all four points. The secret is kicking 1/8th of a turn early; so kick at #2, and the momentum will carry you, and the kick, to the intended target at #1. Just as marksmen lead their targets, spinning karateka must trail their targets.
[spinning Outside crescent kick videos, fast and slow, from the front and side.]